Man wearing monkey mask steals 17 guns from Buckingham store: ‘It’s major league frustrating’

BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- Investigators are looking for three suspects who broke into a Buckingham County gun shop early Saturday morning and stole 17 firearms.

Surveillance video showed the men using an ax to break into Millbrook Country Store located in the 3600 block of S. James Madison Highway.

They broke through a 3/8-inch safety glass and stole 17 guns, all in under two minutes, the video showed.

"It's major league frustrating, especially when you are working hard to do things legally and working with all the officials to have all the paperwork done the right way,” store owner Clint Roach said. "To me, it looks like they've been here before... it looked like they knew where they were going and what they wanted."

One of the suspects was wearing a monkey mask during the crime.

The robbery, which occurred on December 1 at 1:35 a.m., is being investigated by the ATF Richmond Office and the Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office.

This is the second time the gun shop has been hit in recent years. Eleven pistols were stolen during a June 2017 crime.

"Hoping somebody would have contact or information about the individuals wearing these masks,” ATF agent Scott Fulkerson said. “Maybe they've seen them at a party or it was in the back seat of a car. Those are the individuals we want to have contact with. We want that information from the public."

Fulkerson, who is in charge of the Richmond field office, said it doesn't take long for the stolen weapons to turn up. And in some cases, it's too late.

"The concern is these guns that are stolen are not being used in somebody's back yard for target practice,” Fulkerson said. “They are being stolen for the specific reason because they can't buy them for themselves and they are being quickly funneled into the criminal element.  It's been our experience within hours of these thefts, these guns are being used in violent crimes here in our own community."

The ATF and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, are each offering a reward of up to $2,500, for a total reward of $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest.

Anyone with information should contact the ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (1-800-283-4867) or email ATFTips@atf.gov or the Buckingham County Sheriff’s Office at 434-969-1772.